Monday, May 11, 2009
Everything We Lost in the Fire
Twenty three napkins and fifteen napkin rings, twelve place settings, and everything else in the buffet. The insurance company still wants to know how much we lost, and I can't tell them everything. There are some things still smoldering in there. Underneath the ruin of our lives, burning in the wreckage of the cellar, there are still some embers glowing.
I know you want me come to the store with you, so we can buy all those things that made up our home. You should know we lost more than things. When the fire came through the walls, you didn't even turn to watch me get trapped beneath the ceiling. From inside I heard you screaming, somehow over the roaring flames I heard you yelling for me.
I saw the panic in the fireman's eyes when he cleared the rubble off my body. I watched his face as he picked me up, as gently as he could. Both he and I were afraid that I might turn to dust and ash if he held on too hard. All the while the world went blank and there was only me breathing in the smoke and your voice screaming in my ear. For some reason I always thought you would turn back and look for me as we ran out of a burning house. Instead you ran on ahead without me.
We lost everything in that fire.